I really love Steiner education and the philosophy behind it. People often get Montessori and Steiner education confused, I guess as they are both alternatives to mainstream schooling. If you are unsure of the differences take a look here for a wonderful article that compares both (care of Megan's lovely blog: This Whole Family)
I always thought I would send my children to Montessori and I myself when to a Montessori preschool from the age of 3 to 5. I remember bits and pieces and from what Mum says we loved it. It was a loving and nurturing environment, however with an emphasis on independence. I still have the t-shirt (seriously) with "Help me to do it myself" written on the front. I vividly remember doing activities such as learning to tie shoe laces by tying them on a board and tracing letters and numbers over and over. Now I reflect on these tasks and think they were done 'out of context'. For example why not learn to tie a shoe just by doing my laces every morning and watching those around me and why not learn to write using my own handwriting and with some meaning given to what I am writing/ learning.
When I first heard about Steiner education I will be honest, my first thought was "but they don't teach the children to read until they are like 7 years old!" However the more books I have read, the more I understand the philosophy and the more I am exposed to our local school the more it makes such sense and the more I love it. My step daughters both go to a Steiner school and they are two delightful girls, with such a presence about them. Abbie (and I) attend playgroup at our local Steiner school once a week - we sing, we watch a story be told , we dance in a ring, we wash our hands and we bake bread, we have indoor play (we breath in), we eat together and we have outdoor play (we breath out). It is our only weekly activity and we so much look forward to it. I don't believe that a young child needs a busy schedule :)
As a parent, Steiner education appeals to me for so many reasons. I love the emphasis on rhythm and the changing seasons. I love that the education focuses on the whole child - hand, heart and mind. I love the crafts and using natural materials given by the earth. I love that my children will have a childhood full of wonder and play, not ipads and explanations.*
So I thought perhaps once a week or so I would write something Steiner related. I am even thinking a few guest posts from my very dear friend who is a Steiner teacher to provide some more insight into the young child.....it is fascinating, it really is.
Intrigued by Steiner
* And I love the dolls, oh do I love the dolls...